Well that was pretty good!
I didn’t expect to enjoy watching Jon Snow in his newfound position as much as I have, but it’s a brilliant development in every way. The way he followed through on his execution of Janos Slynt (one of the men responsible for Ned Stark’s death) was a true series highlight. I kept doubting that Jon would go through with the brutal punishment, particularly when Janos began pleading with his life, and this made swift beheading all the more shocking. It’s interesting to note that Dany had someone executed last week as well; weren’t both characters so innocent when the show began? Fascinating.
The subtle manipulations between Cersei and Margaery take center-stage this week and they are immensely entertaining. Both Queens are pros, and it’s a delight to watch Cersei scramble when she realizes that someone plays the game of thrones as well as she does. Their polite face-off in front of Margaery’s handmaidens is a true gem, as the new Queen rubs Tommen’s sexual prowess in his mother’s face, while the Lannister Lioness plasters a smile and offers to help with anything she needs. Their banter is packed with layers, and both Nathalie Dormer and Lena Headey knock the whole thing out of the park.
Not too much forward momentum with Tyrion and Varys’ journey this week, although we did discover a new city in the form of Volantis and its depravities (check out the prostitute dressed up as Daenerys). The cliffhanger however is suitably bizarre with Jorah of all people making his return and kidnapping Tyrion with hopes of taking him to Daenerys. Talk about irony!
High Sparrow notably sees the introduction of the incredible Jonathan Pryce as the title character. Pryce is deceitfully likeable in the role, and you completely buy him as a humble old man that’s deeply committed to helping the impoverished and restoring the faith to what it once was. Raise your hand if you also think he’s probably a zealot.
Finally, Sansa is now getting married to the psychopath Ramsay Bolton, and it’s an uber creepy development on every front. It’s especially unsettling to see Sansa fall for Littlefinger’s manipulations so that he may help Roose Bolton solidify his strength in the North. Can’t this poor girl catch a break?
Bits & Beheadings
– Cersei is visibly jealous in her carriage as people call out for Margaery. Too amusing.
– It’s captivating to watch Margaery manipulate Tommen so easily after they have sex. She cleverly puts the idea in his head that he must send his mother away to Casterly Rock.
– Notice the look on Lena Headey’s face as she walks away after Margaery practically decimates her with a smile. The fear on her face is everything.
– Loved Brienne apologizing to Podrick for always snapping at him and offering to train him to fight. Plus we got some heart wrenching backstory about how she was “the ugliest girl alive” and how Renly was the one who stood up for her.
– Just when I started to like Stannis, Brienne proclaims that he’s her target no matter what. Uh oh.
– It’s little bits like Jon keeping Ollie as his steward so he can learn like he once did that make him so likeable as a hero.
– The fact that Jon refuses Stannis’ offer to legitimize him as Jon Stark – so frustrating.
– More scene between Jon and Davos please – they’re a pleasantly compelling pairing.
– I laughed out loud when Arya screamed “cunt” at the girl who tried to bully her.
– Did anyone else get almost teary eyed as Arya threw away her clothes and pared with Needle? Thankfully she didn’t, and hid the trusty sword her father gave her inside a rock.
– Well I guess getting promoted to washing dead bodies is still a promotion Arya!
– Sansa’s fake bow to Lord Bolton, the man who murdered her brother and mother, is everything.
– Sansa’s maid tells her that “The North Remembers”. I got chills.
– Jon proclaims Alliser as First Ranger, cleverly ensuring he stays on his side.
– It’s a small moment, but Ramsay’s secret lover Myranda watches on with jealousy when Sansa arrives.
– How twisted is it that the Septon who is attacked in the brothel (and later forced to walk naked) has paid for prostitutes dressed as the seven. Talk about a blasphemous fantasy.
– Hilarious Cersei walking through the slums and covering her nose. I could watch Lena Headey act like a snob all day.
– What is Qyburn doing to The Mountain? We saw see him shuffle beneath the sheets in the background. #Frankenstein
– Theon tries to hide from Sansa several times throughout the episode. This should be good.
– We meet another red priestess in this hour, and she’s intriguingly of Asian descent. I do hope she reappears again.
– Interesting that Tyrion isn’t able to sleep with the sweet prostitute. Why? Is it about Shae, or did anyone else get the vibe that the prostitute was potentially pregnant?
– Tyrion pissing off the window reminded me of him pissing off The Wall all the way back in episode three of season one. Parallels!
Kings & Quips
Margaery: (to Cersei) Can we bring you anything to eat or drink? I wish we had some wine for you. It’s a bit early in the day for us.
Brienne: How did you end up squiring for the Imp?
Podrick: He hates that nickname.
Brienne: Well, he’s not here to complain about it, is he?
Brienne: I’m sorry I’m always snapping at you.
Podrick: If you wouldn’t snap at me I wouldn’t learn anything.
Stannis: You’re as stubborn as your father. And as honorable.
Jon: I can imagine no higher praise.
Stannis: I didn’t mean it as praise. Honor got your father killed.
Jon: I heard it was best to keep your enemies close.
Stannis: Whoever said that didn’t have many enemies.
Septon: I tend to both the highest born and the lowliest amongst us. Even prostitutes may earn the mercy of the Mother.
Cersei: So you were administering to the needs of these devout prostitutes?
Septon: I tell them no one’s special. They think I’m special for telling them so.
Septon: Hypocrisy is a boil. Lancing a boil is never pleasant. Although, they could have been more careful with the blade.
Cersei: Send a message to Littlefinger in the Eyrie or wherever he’s slythering about.
Littlefinger: I assure you she’s still a virgin. Tyrion never consumated the marriage. By the law of the land, she’s no man’s wife. Inspect her, if you must.
Bolton: I leave that to the brothel keeper. It’s her name I need, not her virtue.
Tyrion: I can’t remember the last face I saw that wasn’t yours.
Varys: It’s a perfectly good face.
Guard: They say it’s good luck to rub a dwarf’s head.
Tyrion: It’s even better luck to suck a dwarf’s cock.
Varys: Where are you going?
Tyrion: I need to speak to someone with hair.
High Sparrow wasn’t extraordinary, but it was still a mightily entertaining hour.